The Phantom of the Opera
Chapter 2. The New Margarita
On the first landing, Sorelli ran against the Comte de Chagny, who was coming up-stairs.
The count, who was generally so calm, seemed greatly excited.
"I was just going to you," he said, taking off his hat. "Oh, Sorelli, what an evening! And
Christine Daae: what a triumph!"
"Impossible!" said Meg Giry. "Six months ago, she used to sing like a CROCK! But do
let us get by, my dear count," continues the brat, with a saucy curtsey. "We are going to
inquire after a poor man who was found hanging by the neck."
Just then the acting-manager came fussing past and stopped when he heard this remark.
"What!" he exclaimed roughly. "Have you girls heard already? Well, please forget about
it for tonight--and above all don't let M. Debienne and M. Poligny hear; it would upset
them too much on their last day."
They all went on to the foyer of the ballet, which was already full of people. The Comte
de Chagny was right; no gala performance ever equalled this one. All the great
composers of the day had conducted their own works in turns. Faure and Krauss had
sung; and, on that evening, Christine Daae had revealed her true self, for the first time, to
the astonished and enthusiastic audience. Gounod had conducted the Funeral March of a
Marionnette; Reyer, his beautiful overture to Siguar; Saint Saens, the Danse Macabre and
a Reverie Orientale; Massenet, an unpublished Hungarian march; Guiraud, his Carnaval;
Delibes, the Valse Lente from Sylvia and the Pizzicati from Coppelia. Mlle. Krauss had
sung the bolero in the Vespri Siciliani; and Mlle. Denise Bloch the drinking song in
But the real triumph was reserved for Christine Daae, who had begun by singing a few
passages from Romeo and Juliet. It was the first time that the young artist sang in this
work of Gounod, which had not been transferred to the Opera and which was revived at
the Opera Comique after it had been produced at the old Theatre Lyrique by Mme.
Carvalho. Those who heard her say that her voice, in these passages, was seraphic; but
this was nothing to the superhuman notes that she gave forth in the prison scene and the
final trio in FAUST, which she sang in the place of La Carlotta, who was ill. No one had
ever heard or seen anything like it.
Daae revealed a new Margarita that night, a Margarita of a splendor, a radiance hitherto
unsuspected. The whole house went mad, rising to its feet, shouting, cheering, clapping,
while Christine sobbed and fainted in the arms of her fellow-singers and had to be carried
to her dressing-room. A few subscribers, however, protested. Why had so great a treasure
been kept from them all that time? Till then, Christine Daae had played a good Siebel to